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Nueces County Attorney: Candidate Forum & Voters Guide

This information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters.

3News has partnered with the League of Women Voters, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to voter education, to help make sure the community has access to all the information they need before hitting the polls Nov. 3.

The following information was gathered and compiled by the League and published in their Voters Guide and on Vote411.org.

The County Attorney:

  • Provides legal advice to the Commissioners Court, elected officials, and County Boards.
  • Represents County/County Officials in administrative proceedings (Civil Service/EEOC) and in civil litigation cases.
  • Prosecutes protective orders and mental commitments.
  • Represents the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in parental rights termination proceedings of abused or neglected children.
  • As a member of the County Collective Bargaining Team, participates in collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Bail Bond Forfeitures

Rene C. Flores (Democrat)

Campaign Email http://Rene@Rene4NCA.org
Campaign Phone Number (361) 271-0717
Website http://Rene4NCA.org
Facebook 
http://www.facebook.com/Rene4NCA

BACKGROUND: Describe your strongest competency and life experience and life experience that qualify you to hold this office. 

I am the only candidate who has experience at the Nueces County Attorney. As Chief of Litigation @ the Nueces County Attorney, I won many cases, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars. My success there is why the present Nueces County Attorney, Laura Jimenez, has endorsed me. I also have 28 years of legal experience in the areas of law involving the county attorney. I am a Princeton University & UC Berkeley Law School graduate. I have extensive involvement in this community, where I was raised

RESPONSIBILITIES: How would you describe the two most pressing responsibilities in serving the county attorney's office? 

The primary responsibility of the Nueces County Attorney’s Office is to represent the county in all legal matters, CPS in protecting abused & neglected children & victims of family violence by obtaining protective orders for them. It is essential that someone with experience in these matters lead the County Attorney's office. I have that experience, having successfully represented Nueces County, CPS & family violence victims as the Chief of Litigation in the Nueces County Attorney's Office.

VIRTUAL TRIALS: The use of virtual trials during the current COVID-19 pandemic will change permanently how the judicial system operates. 

Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

Please explain your answer. 

I have been heavily involved in the use of virtual court proceedings since the pandemic began. The process has revealed that virtual court proceedings for uncontested pretrial matters are much more efficient than live proceedings for all involved, including judges, attorneys, court staff, jail transport officers and defendants. However, for contested matters, including trials, the use of virtual court proceedings is less efficient and effective for cross examinations and for submitting evidence.

VIRTUAL TRIALS: With the use of virtual trials on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what measures should be in place to protect the well-being of and guarantee equal access for individuals who are disabled, indigent and compromised because of physical or mental health issues? 

Court proceedings have been & should always be public because they ensure the integrity of the system by allowing anyone to see for themselves that the process is fair & according to the law. The pandemic has made it a challenge to ensure public access for the most vulnerable in our society. In addition to courts using YouTube live feeds to allow public access, attorneys should ensure clients can appear virtually by allowing them to use a device in their office with masks & social distancing.

PRIORITIES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, if elected, and how would you address them? 

My top three priorities as County Attorney are to continue to vigorously defend the County, which is self-insured, against lawsuits to save the County taxpayer dollars, to continue to ensure that all children are removed from homes where they are abused and neglected & to protect victims of family violence by obtaining protective orders for them & to review the office policies & procedures & increase staff so to be able to represent more family violence victims in obtaining protective orders.

Jenny P. Dorsey, (Republican)

Campaign Email http://jenny@dorseylegal.com
Campaign Phone Number (361) 461-0573
Facebook 
http://Jenny Dorsey for Nueces County Attorney

BACKGROUND: Describe your strongest competency and life experience and life experience that qualify you to hold this office. 

As an attorney for 18 years, in criminal, civil and family law, I bring well-rounded legal experience. I chose Corpus Christi as the place to raise my family. As Chief of Training at the District Attorney's Office, my legal experience helps me understand the consequences of the cases. My family life helps me empathize with children who need rescuing from abuse and still value the family unit as sacred. As a working mother of four, and a wife of a business owner, I am familiar with multitasking.

RESPONSIBILITIES: How would you describe the two most pressing responsibilities in serving the county attorney's office? 

It is essential to protect the safety of the employees, while stretching the resources of the office responsibly. Working remotely helps keep at-risk employees from exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digitizing files saves time and money. When workers drag around paper files, information can be lost, and time is wasted. Electronic files can be shared securely, instantly and remotely. That serves both the physical safety of the worker and the fiscal needs of the office.

VIRTUAL TRIALS: The use of virtual trials during the current COVID-19 pandemic will change permanently how the judicial system operates. 

Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

Please explain your answer.

While trials have been delayed because of COVID-19, the courts are busy. Advances in technology give everyone greater options with how they present evidence. With virtual hearings, courts are learning where problems exist, addressing those issues, and moving forward with the benefits of technology. Victims can now testify without traveling to the courthouse and endangering their safety. Removing barriers between victims and justice results in better outcomes.

VIRTUAL TRIALS: With the use of virtual trials on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what measures should be in place to protect the well-being of and guarantee equal access for individuals who are disabled, indigent and compromised because of physical or mental health issues? 

Virtual trials will offer continued access to justice. Technology is already available in the courts. Courts have laptops set up in the courtroom for anyone who needs access. The County Attorney should also make laptops available for victims. Before virtual trials, people had to travel to court, on the court's schedule, often with lengthy delays. The vast majority of witnesses will be able to safely stay at work, or home, and still participate in the process.

PRIORITIES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, if elected, and how would you address them? 

First, I will protect the vulnerable. I will aggressively seek protective orders for victims of domestic violence and represent TX Department of Family and Protective Services to help children in abuse or neglect cases. Second, I will represent Nueces County in litigation filed against the county, in filing on behalf of the county, and in advising the Commissioners Court. Third, I will do this in a fiscally conservative way in light of the expected budgetary impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The above information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to voter education.

3News has partnered with the League in order to help make sure our community has access to all the information they need before they hit the polls. You can find more of this information at Vote411.org.

Back to the Voters Guide.